Legal Issues

Why Gun Groups Supported, and Opposed, Failed Hunting and Conservation Bill


Many Chronicle readers will be surprised to learn that the recent defeat of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 was due in part to gun groups being on opposing sides of the measure in the U.S. Senate.

Major gun groups were on opposite sides of the failed Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. Gun Owners of America said the bill gave cover to vulnerable Democrat senators. NRA and NSSF wanted protections for public-land hunting and traditional lead ammo use.

Ostensibly, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 would have expanded public-land access for recreational hunting, shooting and fishing, as well as renewed some conservation programs. It had attracted 46 cosponsors, including 26 Republicans, before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked votes on both pro- and anti-gun amendments.

Gun Owners of America and other hard-core gun-rights activists characterized the bill (S. 2363) as the “Harry Reid Preservation Act” because it gave cover to vulnerable Senate Democrats who are seeking re-election in red states.

“As you know, S. 2363 was a ‘nothing-burger bill’ which existed solely to elect anti-gun Democrats in Red States,” GOA asserted in a release. “This includes Senators like sponsor Kay Hagan (D-NC) — plus cosponsors such as Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mark Udall (D-CO), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Al Franken (D-MN) and Mark Warner (D-VA).” “All these Senators are rated as D’s or F’s by Gun Owners of America,” GOA added, noting “GOA also warned Senators that a vote in favor of S. 2363 would be scored in our end-of-year rating.” The National Rifle Association and the Newtown, Conn.–based National Shooting Sports Foundation supported the bill, along with arms manufacturers Alliant Techsystems and Daniel Defense.

“The National Rifle Association is disappointed that the bipartisan Sportsmen’s bill has fallen victim to Sen. Harry Reid’s political agenda,” Executive Director Chris W. Cox said in an Institute for Legislative Action statement. “By refusing to allow a reasonable amendment process, Sen. Reid effectively killed this legislation — a bill with substantive measures that would have enriched America’s hunting and sporting heritage.” “NSSF understands why pro-sportsmen members from both sides of the aisle wanted an opportunity to vote on amendments unique to their respective states,” the National Shooting Sports Foundation said in its statement. “That said, it is disheartening to see America’s longstanding tradition of bipartisanship on sportsmen’s issues sacrificed to the continued gridlock preventing meaningful bipartisan legislation. NSSF looks forward to working with the vast majority of Senators who continue to have an interest in passing this historic legislation on behalf of current and future generations of hunters.”

In your opinion, who was right? GOA, which didn’t want to give cover to Senate Democrats, or NRA and NSSF, which wanted provisions that protected sportsmen’s rights? Let us hear from you in the comment section.


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Comments (15)

  1. As usual, the GOA was correct while the NRA and other groups were being foolish. It is similar to how the NRA is pretending that the immigration issue does not have an effect on gun rights at all. Those who would be given amnesty are against gun rights by 7 to 1 – yet adding several million new anti-gun voters won’t affect gun rights?

    Another great blog entry by Codrea. His stuff is worth checking out every day at and In case anyone reading this is not aware, Codrea was one of the two citizen journalists to break and keep alive the Fast and Furious story!

    1. Sorry, I am not on Facebook. What page is that?

      By the way, I can speak from experience here in NC that the NRA has endorsed anti gun sheriffs who are vulnerable over much stronger candidates on gun rights. They also abandoned the effort to nix the entire permission to buy a handgun from the local sheriff bill for some other political reason. I am no longer a NRA member, but I am a GOA member.

  2. By what possible logic does the US government have any legitimate authority to “own” or control land anywhere outside of Washington DC? I don’t see a single “dock” or “fort” in Yellowstone…

  3. One more comment on the NRA and I’ll be quiet. The very reason we have Harry Reid in the US Senate is that during his last re-election campaign the NRA steered tens of thousands of dollars to his re-election because he promised them he would support a new gun range on blocked property in Nevada. Until the NRA admits and apologies for this grievous error, and they stop supporting bills like this, they simply cannot be trusted.

  4. Gun Owners of America correct and on point again as usual, while the NRA plays politics and refuses to be 100% pro-gun. The NRA claiming they support gun rights while supporting this Trojan Horse bill just proves the NRA cannot be trusted to stand up for our 2A rights all the time. Its time for more gun owners to support GOA, and not the NRA, as the GOA will always take the hard right over the easy (NRA) wrong in all cases for our 2A rights.

  5. Trojan Horse is right on the money… I couldn’t pick a better description… All the GOP cosigners voted against it after the GOA sniffed it out and said it was a bad idea… Reid is a cancer to the whole legislative process, and should be jailed for treason… He just simply doesn’t DO ANYTHING… At the very least, he shouldn’t be paid…

  6. I read this bill and what a piece of no nothing legislation it was. I figures the libs would put up something like this to front their real idea of reelecting there vermin again. There are 340 bills past by the house that are stalled on Reid’s desk that he won’t allow to more forward because he’s afraid it’ll pass. Of couse no one in the Obumma administration cares.

  7. I think I agree with everything you said but it is hard to tell because of the typos. I bet you are on your phone and trying to type quickly but if I am struggling to understand your very good points, I would bet others, particularly Easterners, are lost.

    Joane Pappas White
    Attorney at Law
    Price, Utah

  8. At yhis date the. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has over 1.3 billion in proerties for sale that will most likely bring in at most 10,000,0000. All deemed surplus or non economicly sound thrte is one hell of a lot hoing on by people, people thst represrnt huge ginancial interest.
    Jsrry Reid and billoons in Koch Bothers and their cotporate “Darl Monied Interest ” want returns on.
    We are looking at the theft of public lands that make old time RR Barons gifts of evrryothrr section ownerdhip to JP Morgans loaning WWI US and Britain funds for military at 12%., and Chase agreement with Military for Viet Era GI check cashing and banking in SE Asia Area.
    Check out Tenn govenors sweetheart deals to sell state propertyd and let coal moning enter state parks and wildlife hunting refuge.
    Try 300,000 acres of UTAH that went from public to now a pay to hunt private non profit church owned buidness cannef luxury hunt.
    note provision that talks of increasong hunter access and use:
    AMENDS FEDERAL LAND transaction Facilities. …… pork protection
    Then: Require BLM and Forest Service land , excluding land offshore on Continental shelf( all under our new drill baby drill) to be open to hunting, recreational fishing or recreational shooting{ HERE IT COMES} [UNLESS ] THE MANAGING AGENCY ACTS TO CLOSE LANDS TO SUCH ACTIVITY.
    We aready see leases turned. Into private corporate upon what were once federal lands,THIS IS WHAT REAL BUNDY RANCH VERSUS REID CRONIES REALESTATE DEALINGS THAT RUN INTO MAJOR CONGRESSIONAL
    DISTRICtS AND DC LOBBYIST , they federaly funded roads and even btidges and hiway intrrchanges and public lands now corporate.
    There are more private firms operating what were once public services and as in Sen Feinsteins husbands case making 90 million selling SurplusUS mail propertys.
    THE GOP WHEN talking of down sizing actually mean privatizing and a quick double check of 22 sponsors show many dubious and most assuredly not hunter friendly or land conservation types, but they know how to make a quick buck.
    I am still trying to see how corporate of NRA will individually profit..
    Nature Conservancy is Rip City big time and one of its biggest beneficiaries are oil and chemical along with mining and foestry interest.
    If they support, then you know it is no good for hunters or shooting fishing sportsmen.
    Like I said 1.3 billions this year, hell they are selling through FT worth 4 tracts of prime public hunting fishing lands to realty developers for just about 1/100th the lands value
    New texas millionaires li ing pockets at publics loss.
    Remember everything going contract as will ATF and even some military post have sold lands and their gates are civilian security..
    US is for sale and the fancy names on bills read like ad agency catch phrases: They should as that is exactly what the are and a firm is under contract to write them.

  9. The entire bill seemed suspicious to me. It felt like a Trojan horse. Especially the parts with artificial concern over our diminishing practice ranges due to ever increasing populations.

    So in exchange, the bill makes suspicious generous offers of more federal lands to make up for it. I couldn’t help but feel this was a way to corral us into federal lands with the underlying goal of eventually controlling more of the shooting sports.

  10. Reid just drove another nail in the democratic party’s coffin and hopefully we will all remember this the next time we go to the poles. I know I will. We have to do what ever we can to change the population of both houses. They’ve both become whore houses.

  11. Come on yall, if Harry Reid is for it, Im going to be against it. Whether it is obvious on the surface there is some clandestine reason for allowing it to exist or not, it is “INCOMING!!!”

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